When was the last time you took a retreat?
I don’t mean a vacation or a day off. I mean an actual retreat where you focus on your personal growth and spirituality.
No idea what I’m talking about?
We get so distracted with daily living; kids, jobs, a broken dishwasher, remembering to send birthday cards…the list goes on and on. It’s hard to reset and pull back the lens in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes we feel like we don’t even have time to think about taking a break.
There are many kinds of retreats. Some last a day or two, and some can go on for weeks! But taking a retreat is a powerful way to invest in yourself.
6 Powerful Reasons to Go on Retreat
1) For true rest and revitalization.
Vacations are for fun, relaxation, and spending time with loved ones, which is valuable, but very different from a retreat. How often have you come back from a vacation feeling just as (or even more) tired as when you left?
A retreat is designed for true revitalization. It’s a place to calm down, focus within, achieve internal shifts, look at the bigger picture of our lives, and connect with spirit.
Retreats are helpful because they help you unplug and eliminate distractions. When you’re on a retreat, you’re simply not available for everyone’s wants and demands, for the latest stressful news, or for the things you feel stressed about and reactive to. And that can be incredibly rejuvenating.
At first, people might be reluctant to go on retreat BECAUSE they’re nervous about unplugging. Ironically, retreat participants are often reluctant to plug back in when the retreat is over!
2) They’re a platform for lasting change.
Vacations can feel wonderful when we’re on them, but the benefits tend to be short-lived. On the other hand, retreats are designed to help you let go and achieve lasting change. You’re much more likely to come home from a retreat feeling refreshed, more open, and with a new sense of vitality for life.
Retreats are designed for you to let go of the burdens of being an adult. For instance, lodging and meals are taken care of. The schedule is set. All you have to do is show up and focus on yourself so you can learn, play, and look inward. It’s like going away to camp!
3) Attending a retreat can help you accelerate your growth.
Most of the time, we try to do growth in bite-sized pieces. We read a book, listen to a podcast, and maybe we go to therapy once or twice a month, but those are like tiny islands in an otherwise busy day or week.
While progress is possible in bits and pieces, we may not build enough momentum for the profound transformation we desire. But that momentum can be achieved more readily on retreat in a setting designed for growth, with a leader who guides the process, and the energy of a group on the journey with you. It’s the perfect recipe for growth.
Retreats can also make a difference because there’s a distinction between knowing and doing. At retreats, people often say to me “I knew this, but I wasn’t living it.” Retreats give us a chance to really implement the things we learn and what we already know. It’s like learning Spanish by living in Spain for a year versus learning Spanish with a computer program. It’s not just a concept anymore. It is a much more immersive experience.
4) It’s a chance to connect with nature.
Traditionally, retreats are held in beautiful, natural places which is a benefit all on its own. Not only is nature pleasant to look at, but it also helps relax our nervous systems and supports our physical and mental health in numerous ways.
I hold my retreats on Lake George in upstate New York where the beauty of the lake, mountains, gardens, and forests surround us.
5) Retreats can be FUN.
In addition to being the ideal environment for deep, lasting growth, retreats can be a place to let your hair down! It’s an opportunity to return to childlike wonder, to play, and to be lighthearted.
My philosophy of growth involves the importance of not taking things so seriously and being willing to laugh at ourselves. I’ve had students tell me, “I didn’t know growth could be so much fun!”
6) Retreats are an opportunity for ongoing connection with a like-minded community.
We’re influenced by the people around us. Having a community can help us on our transformational journey, which is why an ongoing connection is beneficial to maintain the progress we made on retreat.
After a retreat, participants often return home, excited about what they’ve learned, but find that focus tends to fade over time. As a leader, I create structures to help participants stay connected and help each other on their journeys to deepen and solidify their personal growth.
If you’re serious about your personal growth and want to create the time and space to focus, I recommend that you consider attending a retreat.
You can learn more about my retreats and workshops here. I’d love for you to join us!